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SPARTAN SOCIETY The earliest phases at Sparta Around the traditional date of the first Olympiad in 776 BC,

developments were occurring in Greek history at several levels. It was at about this time that literacy began to emerge again for the first time since the Mycenaean age. This was apparently brought in from Phoenicia, and became the model for the future Western scripts. The earliest Greek colonies were also sent westwards; the first known example is the island of Pithekoussai (Ischia) in the bay of Naples, settled by Euboian islanders. These developments went hand in hand with the earliest written versions of the literary productions of Greek culture, the Homeric epics, and technological improvements in metalworking. We do not know what was happening in Sparta this early and have to make inferences from later writers such as Herodotus. As we will see, there was a tradition of an early Spartan lawgiver, Lycurgus, who was claimed by the 4th century Aristotle to have been a co-founder of the Olympian games. There is also a tradition of the early emergence of dual monarchy at Sparta, and

certainly there were two royal houses at Sparta, the Agiads and the Eurypontids. It is thought possible that the joint kingship arose out of the amalgamation of the separate villages that formed up as Sparta (synoecism). The earliest Agiad monarch, Agis I has priority in 930-900 BC. See below for Herodotus on Spartan kingship: Sparta kings lists Most of what we know about the Spartan king lists is derived from Herodotus. Dates are very uncertain for the earliest phases. If you want to consult a reasonably reliable list see ml Here is the convenient list prepared by John P. Adams of University of California, Northridge: The KINGS OF SPARTA

Echestratos Eurypon Leobotas Prytanis Dorrusas Polydectes Agesilaus I Eunomos Archilaus Charillos Teleklos Nikandros

Alkamenes Polydoros


Eurykrates Anaxandros

Agis I


Leon Anaxandridas II Kleomenes I 520-490 Leonidas I 490-480 Pleistarchos 480-459 Pleistoanax 459-409 Pausanias 409-395 Agesipolis I 395-380 Cleombrotos 380-371 Agesipolis II 371-370 Cleomenes II 370-309 Araios I 309-265 Akrotatos 265-255? Araios II 255/4-247? Leonidas Theopompos Anaxandridas I Archidamos I Anaxilas Leotychidas Hippokratidas Agesikles

Ariston Demaratos 515-491 Leotychidas II 491-469 Archidamos I 469-427 Agis II 427-399 Agesilaus 399-360 Archidamos II 360-338 Agis III 338-331 Eudamidas I 331- ? Archidamos IV Eudamidas II Agis IV ? - 243 Archidamos V Nabis ? - 192 Kleombrotos [interregnum] 244-243 227-219 January 26, 2010 1:46 PM John Paul Adams, CSUN Spartan kings: Herodotus 6 51-60: Pelops (Nabis regent) 207- ? Agesipolis Pelops (Machanidas regent) 219- ? - 207 Kleomenes III Lykurgos 235-219 219- ?

Meanwhile Demaratus, son of Ariston, was bringing charges against Cleomenes at Sparta. He too, like Cleomenes, was king of the Spartans, but he belonged to the lower house- not indeed that his house was of any lower origin than the other, for both houses are of one blood- but the house of Eurysthenes is the more honoured of the two, inasmuch as it is the elder branch. ....... The prerogatives which the Spartans have allowed their kings are the following. In the first place, two priesthoods, those (namely) of Lacedaemonian and of Celestial Jupiter; also the right of making war on what country soever they please, without hindrance from any of the other Spartans, under pain of outlawry; on service the privilege of marching first in the advance and last in the retreat, and of having a hundred picked men for their body guard while with the army; likewise the liberty of sacrificing as many cattle in their expeditions as it seems them good, and the right of having the skins and the chines of the slaughtered animals for their own use. Such are their privileges in war; in peace their rights are as follows. When a citizen makes a public sacrifice the kings are given the first seats at the banquet; they are

served before any of the other guests, and have a double portion of everything; they take the lead in the libations; and the hides of the sacrificed beasts belong to them. Every month, on the first day, and again on the seventh of the first decade, each king receives a beast without blemish at the public cost, which he offers up to Apollo; likewise a medimnus of meal, and of wine a Laconian quart. In the contests of the Games they have always the seat of honour; they appoint the citizens who have to entertain foreigners; they also nominate, each of them, two of the Pythians, officers whose business it is to consult the oracle at Delphi, who eat with the kings, and, like them, live at the public charge. If the kings do not come to the public supper, each of them must have two choenixes of meal and a cotyle of wine sent home to him at his house; if they come, they are given a double quantity of each, and the same when any private man invites them to his table. They have the custody of all the oracles which are pronounced; but the Pythians must likewise have knowledge of them. They have the whole decision of certain causes, which are these, and these only:- When a maiden is left the heiress of her father's estate, and has not been betrothed by him to any one, they decide who is to marry her; in all matters concerning the public

highways they judge; and if a person wants to adopt a child, he must do it before the kings. They likewise have the right of sitting in council with the eight-and-twenty senators; and if they are not present, then the senators nearest of kin to them have their privileges, and give two votes as the royal proxies, besides a third vote, which is their own. Such are the honours which the Spartan people have allowed their kings during their lifetime; after they are dead other honours await them. Horsemen carry the news of their death through all Laconia, while in the city the women go hither and thither drumming upon a kettle. At this signal, in every house two free persons, a man and a woman, must put on mourning, or else be subject to a heavy fine. The Lacedaemonians have likewise a custom at the demise of their kings which is common to them with the barbarians of Asia- indeed with the greater number of the barbarians everywhere- namely, that when one of their kings dies, not only the Spartans, but a certain number of the country people from every part of Laconia are forced, whether they will or no, to attend the funeral. So these persons and the helots, and likewise the Spartans themselves, flock together to the number of several thousands, men and women intermingled; and all of them smite their foreheads

violently, and weep and wall without stint, saying always that their last king was the best. If a king dies in battle, then they make a statue of him, and placing it upon a couch right bravely decked, so carry it to the grave. After the burial, by the space of ten days there is no assembly, nor do they elect magistrates, but continue mourning the whole time. They hold with the Persians also in another custom. When a king dies, and another comes to the throne, the newly-made monarch forgives all the Spartans the debts which they owe either to the king or to the public treasury. And in like manner among the Persians each king when he begins to reign remits the tribute due from the provinces. In one respect the Lacedaemonians resemble the Egyptians. Their heralds and flute-players, and likewise their cooks, take their trades by succession from their fathers. A flute-player must be the son of a flute-player, a cook of a cook, a herald of a herald; and other people cannot take advantage of the loudness of their voice to come into the profession and shut out the heralds' sons; but each follows his father's business. Such are the customs of the Lacedaemonians. Lycurgus and the Spartan State

Lycurgus is a very disputable historical figure. Many different identities have been attributed to him. The emergence of the lawgiver Lawgivers are often accorded the status of travellers. We will see this with Solon at Athens, and it is claimed that the Spartan Lycurgus had been to Crete, Egypt and Ionia (see Plutarch Lycurgus 4). The theory is that the lawgiver can look at other people's customs and pick the best he has experienced. Codes undergo severe tests: Solon leaves Athens for 10 years; he had met with extensive complaints once his code was completed. Lycurgus, after the enactment of his legislation, is said to have been assaulted by a mob and blinded in one eye by a youth name Alcander (Plut. Lyc. 11). Concern over the durability of the code is also a commonplace. Just as Solon intended his laws to last 100 years, and had his laws protected by oath for 10 years, so Lycurgus made the Spartans swear a solemn oath that they would not tamper with the code (Plut. Lyc. 29). Some common issues can be noted in the legendary accounts of the rise of lawgivers in these early communities. A political situation arises in which one uniquely equipped individual emerges to cure ills. He promulgates his code, secures its durability, and then leaves the political stage.

The Date of the Lycurgan reforms at Sparta Scholars a century ago thought that the Lycurgan reforms emanated from a very

primitive state and were inclined to a date of circa 830-820 BC. Fashions have changed and now few scholars would date the reforms before 700 BC. Aristotle dated the legislation to about 776 BC when Lycurgus was guardian to the Eurypontid king Charilaus; Charilaus' grandson Theopompus and his colleague Polydorus added the rider to the rhetra which is alluded to by Plutarch (Lycurgus 6: see below), and Plutarch (who seems to follow Aristotle at this point) cites a poem of Tyrtaeus to support the involvement of Theopompus and Polydorus. Their reign is dated to the period 700-670 BC.

The Great Rhetra Plutarch Lycurgus 6 (Penguin translation) Lycurgus was so enthusiastic about this council (the council of elders or Gerousia) that he brought an oracle about it from Delphi, which they call a rhetra. It goes as follows: 'After dedicating a temple to Zeus Skullanius and Athena Skullania, forming

phylai (tribes) and creating obai, and instituting a Gerousia of thirty including the founder-leaders, then from season to season apellaze (celebrate a festival of Apollo) between Babyka and Knakion so as to propose and withdraw. But to the people should belong the right to respond as well as power.' In this the phrases 'forming phylai' and 'creating obai' refer to the division and distribution of the people into groups, the former of which he termed phylai, the latter obai. The 'founder-leaders' mean the kings, while 'to apellaze' means to summon the assembly, because Lycurgus related the origin and source of his constitution to Pythian Apollo. Their present names for Babyka and Knakion are.... and Oinous. Aristotle says that Knakion is a river, while Babyka is a bridge. It was between these that they used to hold their assemblies: there were no porticoes nor any other edifice. For in his opinion these were in no way conducive to sound deliberations, but instead harmful. They made those who assemble idiotic and give them silly, mindless notions, when at their meetings they can stare at statues and pictures, or the stages of theatres, or the richly decorated roofs of council chambers. When the populace was assembled, Lycurgus permitted no one else except the elders and kings to make a proposal, although the authority to decide upon what the latter put

forward did belong to the people. Later, however, when the people distorted proposals and mauled them by their deletions and additions, the kings Polydorus and Theopompus supplemented the rhetra as follows: 'If the people should make a crooked choice, the elders and the founder leaders are to set it aside' - that is, not confirm it, but to withdraw it completely and to dismiss the people because they are altering and reformulating the proposal contrary to what was best. Moreover, these kings persuaded the city that the god had ordered this supplement as Tyrtaeus seems to be recalling in the following lines: Having listened to Phoebus they brought home from Pytho The oracles of the god and his words which were to be fulfilled: To rule in concil is for the kings (who are esteemed by the gods And whose care is the lovely city of Sparta), And for the aged Elders; but then it is for the common people To respond in turn with straight rhetras. Nature of the reform Before the reforms it is thought that Sparta was still based on the three racial tribes originating from the Dorian invasions. These were the Hylleis, Dymanes and

Pamphyloi, and gradually unrelated peoples had been adopted into this primitive organisation. Subgroups beneath the tribal structure were phratries and gene. The Rhetra instituted a new organisation by tribes and obai. Obai were five regions or wards of Sparta (Pitana, Mesoa, Kynosoura, Limnae and Amyklai). Amyklai was a new addition, physically located outside the boundaries of the town of Sparta. The new tribes were also five in number. Initially membership was based on residence, but membership of a tribe was hereditary, and in the longer term correspondence between tribes and obai did not survive. This new organisation of the citizens also led to a new organisation of the army into five lochoi (companies), again initially drawn from the new regional arrangements, and probably becoming based on the hereditary tribe. The main difference is a move from a racial principle to one of residence. As in Athens under Kleisthenes the new arrangements cut across the old system, but the old phratries and gene continued to exist in the villages - a difference from Athens. Alienation of property became possible and broke down the strict family

control inherent in the system of racial tribes. Suggested reading: Plutarch on Sparta (Penguin) - especially the life of Lycurgus. A. Szegedy-Maszak, 'Legends of the Greek Lawgivers' Greek Roman and Byzantine Studies 19 (1978) 199-209. W.G. Forrest, 'The date of the Lycourgan reforms in Sparta' Phoenix 17 (1963) 157- 179. W.G. Forrest, A History of Sparta 950-192 BC, London 1968. N.G.L. Hammond, 'The Lycurgean reform at Sparta' Journal of Hellenic Studies 70 (1950) 42-64. The composition of the Spartan state The Spartan state consisted of three major groups: citizens, perioikoi and helots. They did not have slaves in the same way that Athenians had slaves. To take the Helots first, this seems to have been the first Spartan advance when they are thought to have taken over a community called Helos. The Helot was effectively a slave in the sense that he could not obtain his freedom. Absentee landlords however increased personal freedom in comparison with slaves elsewhere. Perioikoi were citizens in largely autonomous communities under Spartan control.

Sparta grew through the inclusion of Amyklai in its citizen body, and then added Messene between 740-715 BC. Her territorial highpoint was reached by about 700 BC. The notion of equality homoioi as Spartan citizens cannot relate to property holdings. There are known to have been great inequalities. A male child was taken at 6 years old and trained in the agoge for 14 years, as outlined with little emphasis on reading and writing and a lot of emphasis on physical training. Then he would become an Eiren (see below). He could not join the assembly until he was 30. This does not seem very different from Athens, where initiation and seniority were also taken very seriouisly. Spartan land tenure an inheritance Views of land tenure at Sparta have been transformed in the past 20 years by the work of Stephen Hodkinson. His account of Spartan land tenure places substantial emphasis on private rights, and has shown how some of the features that made Sparta distinctive could have developed. His picture was originally outlined in a 1986 article, and has been refined in subsequent studies (Hodkinson [1986]; [1989]; [2000];

[2004]). His important finding is that property devolved by partible inheritance (i.e. shares, rather than everything going to the first born male: primogeniture), and that this arrangement included both male and female heirs. This suggests that land tenure at Sparta was closer to that in other parts of Greece than previously thought, and makes sense of the Herodotean term for an heiress (Hdt. 6.57), the patroukos, with its implication of receipt of a private inheritance from the father (Hodkinson [2000] 77- 79; [2004] 105). Aristotle provides the main substance for his approach. In Sparta the rules governing heiresses (epikleroi) are said to have contributed to the accumulation of land by Spartan women. According to Aristotle epikleroi were numerous (Arist. Pol. 1270a23-9). He also claims women owned two-fifths of the land in Sparta (Arist. Pol. 1270a). It is clear that he thinks of the epikleroi as the actual inheritors of the property, not merely as temporary custodians (Hodkinson [1986] 396). The crucial passage from book 2 of Aristotles Politics provides the earliest extant account of Spartiate land tenure: One might next go on to attack the inequality of property-ownership. For we find that some have come to have far too many possessions, others very few indeed; hence the land has fallen into the hands of

a small number. Here there have been errors in the legal provisions too. For he [the lawgiver] quite rightly made it dishonourable to buy or sell land in someones possession, but allowed those who wished to give and bequeath it; and yet this inevitably leads to the same result. Moreover, approximately two fifths of all the land is possessed by women. There are two reasons for this: epikleroi are numerous and dowries are large. It would have been better to have regulated dowries prohibiting them altogether or making them small or at any rate moderate in size. But, as it is, an heiress (epikleros) may be given in marriage to any person whatsoever; and if a man dies without making a will, the man who is left as kleronomos gives her to whom he likes. So although the land is sufficient to support 1500 cavalry and 30000 hoplites, the number fell to below 1000.... (Arist. Pol. 1270a15ff.) Aristotle is making a pointed contrast with the situation at Athens (Schaps [1979] 35). The freedom of the heiress (epikleros) at Sparta to marry outside the kin group is presented as fuelling the dissipation of the number of property holders, and promoting large estates (Hodkinson [2000] 80). As Hodkinson points out, the Aristotelian analysis alludes to several factors which

explain the decline in Spartiate numbers, but all of them had been in operation throughout the classical period (Hodkinson [1986] 387-388). An important suggestion is that dowry in Sparta operated as an anticipated rightful share of inheritance, as at Gortyn, where a code dating from about 450 BC has survived. At Gortyn daughters received half the sons portion either on marriage or as an inheritance (Gortyn Code: IV.37- V.9; Hodkinson [2004] 104), although certain types of property were reserved for male heirs. No such restriction is apparent at Sparta. At Gortyn women are specifically designated as having economic control over their own property (Gortyn Code: IV.23-26). In contrast, dowry at Athens was much less accessible, and it has been wondered whether Athenian women were actually the owners of their dowry (Schaps [1979] 74-88; Todd [1993] 215-216). Transactions were supervised by her husband or guardian (kyrios). Certainly Athenian women had restricted legal capacity to handle monetary matters. Adoption was allowed at Sparta as an additional option in the absence of male heirs (Hodkinson [2004] 104). Adoptions and marriages of epikleroi who had not been betrothed by their fathers were performed in the presence of the kings (Hdt. 6.57.4-5: the kings are the sole judges of these cases only: concerning an

unmarried heiress: who gets her if her father has not betrothed her... anyone who wishes to adopt a child must do it in the kings presence). As Hodkinson insists, this did not mean that kings interfered over choices, but that arrangements were formalised before the kings (Hodkinson [1986] 392). This was the equivalent of Athenian proceedings before the eponymous archon. At Sparta, an epikleros already married was excluded from these rulings, and even one merely betrothed. She seems to have been permitted to keep her intended husband without the obligation to marry next of kin. Hodkinson points out the example of Lysanders daughters, which contrasts sharply with Athenian rules. When their father died, the men to whom they were betrothed were not sent away in favour of close kin: rather they were fined when they disowned the girls on the grounds of their unexpected poverty (Hodkinson [1986] 396; [2000] 95). If the law had been the same as at Gortyn, a Spartan epikleros would have been permitted to keep part of the patrimony and marry outside her fathers lineage. The rule at Gortyn was that a childless heiress was entitled to avoid the close kin marriage only if she ceded half the inheritance (Gortyn Code: VII.52ff.). However at Sparta a woman could apparently inherit

all her fathers land in these circumstances. Thus Agiatis inherited all the land of Gylippos (Plut. Cleom.1.2), which appears to explain why Leonidas compelled her to marry his immature son Kleomenes after the execution of her husband, King Agis IV, in 241 BC (Hodkinson [1986] 398; [2004] 117). Essentially at Gortyn an heiress was entitled to remain the legal owner of her fathers property throughout her life if she adhered to strictures over whom she was to marry. This is in sharp contrast with Athens where an heiress had far fewer rights over her fathers estate, and whose sons became legally entitled to it when they came of age. The rules at Sparta placed even less restriction on heiresses. As Aristotle points out, the only significant restrictions within the Spartan land tenure system were on alienation and sale, and these applied to both sexes without discrimination (Arist. Pol. 1270a19-21; Hodkinson [2000] 94). Despite the apparently broader range of kin who were permitted to marry heiresses (epikleroi) at Sparta, the Spartiates allowed marriages between uterine half-siblings the children of the same mother but different fathers (Philo On Special Laws 3.4.22)(Hodkinson [1986] 393; [2004] 115). This still suggests a concern to keep

property closely held within the family. Wife sharing may also relate to this concern and would assist in garnering resources within a system of partible inheritance (Hodkinson [2000] 82). Hodkinson gives several examples of marriages that help to concentrate family resources (Hodkinson [2000] 95; 101-102; [2004] 114-115). Further reading: Hodkinson, S. (1986), Land Tenure and Inherritance in Classical Sparta Classical Quarterly 36: 378-406. Hodkinson, S. (1989), Marriage, inheritance and demography: perspectives upon the success and decline of classical Sparta in A. Powell (ed.) Classical Sparta: Techniques behind her success, London: 79121. Hodkinson, S. (2000), Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta, London. Hodkinson, S. (2004), Female property ownership and empowerment in classical and Hellenistic Sparta in T.J. Figueira (ed.) Spartan Society, Swansea: 103-136. Schaps, D. (1979), Economic rights of women in ancient Greece. Edinburgh. Todd. S.C. (1993), The Shape of Athenian Law, Oxford. Herodotus 1.65-70 Rawlinson translation: Croesus of Lydia and Sparta:

Proceeding to seek information concerning the Lacedaemonians, Croesus learnt that, after passing through a period of great depression, they had lately been victorious in a war with the people of Tegea; for, during the joint reign of Leo and Agasicles, kings of Sparta, the Lacedaemonians, successful in all their other wars, suffered continual defeat at the hands of the Tegeans. At a still earlier period they had been the very worst governed people in Greece, as well in matters of internal management as in their relations towards foreigners, from whom they kept entirely aloof. The circumstances which led to their being well governed were the following:Lycurgus, a man of distinction among the Spartans, had gone to Delphi, to visit the oracle. Scarcely had he entered into the inner fane, when the Pythoness exclaimed aloud, Oh! thou great Lycurgus, that com'st to my beautiful dwelling, Dear to love, and to all who sit in the halls of Olympus, Whether to hail thee a god I know not, or only a mortal, But my hope is strong that a god thou wilt prove, Lycurgus. Some report besides, that the Pythoness delivered to him the entire system of laws which are still observed by the Spartans. The Lacedaemonians, however. themselves assert that Lycurgus, when he was guardian of his nephew,

Labotas, king of Sparta, and regent in his room, introduced them from Crete; for as soon as he became regent, he altered the whole of the existing customs, substituting new ones, which he took care should be observed by all. After this he arranged whatever appertained to war, establishing the Enomotiae, Triacades, and Syssitia, besides which he instituted the senate,' and the ephoralty. Such was the way in which the Lacedaemonians became a wellgoverned people. On the death of Lycurgus they built him a temple, and ever since they have worshipped him with the utmost reverence. Their soil being good and the population numerous, they sprang up rapidly to power, and became a flourishing people. In consequence they soon ceased to be satisfied to stay quiet; and, regarding the Arcadians as very much their inferiors, they sent to consult the oracle about conquering the whole of Arcadia. The Pythoness thus answered them: Cravest thou Arcady? Bold is thy craving. I shall not content it. Many the men that in Arcady dwell, whose food is the acornThey will never allow thee. It is not I that am niggard. I will give thee to dance in Tegea, with noisy foot-fall, And with the measuring line mete out the

glorious champaign. When the Lacedaemonians received this reply, leaving the rest of Arcadia untouched, they marched against the Tegeans, carrying with them fetters, so confident had this oracle (which was, in truth, but of base metal) made them that they would enslave the Tegeans. The battle, however, went against them, and many fell into the enemy's hands. Then these persons, wearing the fetters which they had themselves brought, and fastened together in a string, measured the Tegean plain as they executed their labours. The fetters in which they worked were still, in my day, preserved at Tegea where they hung round the walls of the temple of Minerva Alea. Throughout the whole of this early contest with the Tegeans, the Lacedaemonians met with nothing but defeats; but in the time of Croesus, under the kings Anaxandrides and Aristo, fortune had turned in their favour, in the manner which I will now relate. Having been worsted in every engagement by their enemy, they sent to Delphi, and inquired of the oracle what god they must propitiate to prevail in the war against the Tegeans. The answer of the Pythoness was that before they could prevail, they must remove to Sparta the bones of Orestes, the son of Agamemnon. Unable to discover his burial-place, they sent a second time, and asked the god where the body of the hero

had been laid. The following was the answer they received:Level and smooth is the plain where Arcadian Tegea standeth; There two winds are ever, by strong necessity, blowing, Counter-stroke answers stroke, and evil lies upon evil. There all-teeming Earth doth harbour the son of Atrides; Bring thou him to thy city, and then be Tegea's master. After this reply, the Lacedaemonians were no nearer discovering the burial-place than before, though they continued to search for it diligently; until at last a man named Lichas, one of the Spartans called Agathoergi, found it. The Agathoergi are citizens who have just served their time among the knights. The five eldest of the knights go out every year, and are bound during the year after their discharge to go wherever the State sends them, and actively employ themselves in its service. Lichas was one of this body when, partly by good luck, partly by his own wisdom, he discovered the burial-place. Intercourse between the two States existing just at this time, he went to Tegea, and, happening to enter into the workshop of a smith, he saw him forging some iron. As he stood marvelling at what he beheld, he was observed by the smith who, leaving off his

work, went up to him and said, "Certainly, then, you Spartan stranger, you would have been wonderfully surprised if you had seen what I have, since you make a marvel even of the working in iron. I wanted to make myself a well in this room, and began to dig it, when what think you? I came upon a coffin seven cubits long. I had never believed that men were taller in the olden times than they are now, so I opened the coffin. The body inside was of the same length: I measured it, and filled up the hole again." Such was the man's account of what he had seen. The other, on turning the matter over in his mind, conjectured that this was the body of Orestes, of which the oracle had spoken. He guessed so, because he observed that the smithy had two bellows, which he understood to be the two winds, and the hammer and anvil would do for the stroke and the counterstroke, and the iron that was being wrought for the evil lying upon evil. This he imagined might be so because iron had been discovered to the hurt of man. Full of these conjectures, he sped back to Sparta and laid the whole matter before his countrymen. Soon after, by a concerted plan, they brought a charge against him, and began a prosecution. Lichas betook himself to Tegea, and on his arrival acquainted the smith with his

misfortune, and proposed to rent his room of him. The smith refused for some time; but at last Lichas persuaded him, and took up his abode in it. Then he opened the grave, and collecting the bones, returned with them to Sparta. From henceforth, whenever the Spartans and the Tegeans made trial of each other's skill in arms, the Spartans always had greatly the advantage; and by the time to which we are now come they were masters of most of the Peloponnese. Croesus, informed of all these circumstances, sent messengers to Sparta, with gifts in their hands, who were to ask the Spartans to enter into alliance with him. They received strict injunctions as to what they should say, and on their arrival at Sparta spake as follows:"Croesus, king of the Lydians and of other nations, has sent us to speak thus to you: 'Oh Lacedaemonians, the god has bidden me to make the Greek my friend; I therefore apply to you, in conformity with the oracle, knowing that you hold the first rank in Greece, and desire to become your friend and ally in all true faith and honesty.'" Such was the message which Croesus sent by his heralds. The Lacedaemonians, who were aware beforehand of the reply given

him by the oracle, were full of joy at the coming of the messengers, and at once took the oaths of friendship and alliance: this they did the more readily as they had previously contracted certain obligations towards him. They had sent to Sardis on one occasion to purchase some gold, intending to use it on a statue of Apollothe statue, namely, which remains to this day at Thornax in Laconia, when Croesus, hearing of the matter, gave them as a gift the gold which they wanted. This was one reason why the Lacedaemonians were so willing to make the alliance: another was, because Croesus had chosen them for his friends in preference to all the other Greeks. They therefore held themselves in readiness to come at his summons, and not content with so doing, they further had a huge vase made in bronze, covered with figures of animals all round the outside of the rim, and large enough to contain three hundred amphorae, which they sent to Croesus as a return for his presents to them. The vase, however, never reached Sardis. Its miscarriage is accounted for in two quite different ways. The Lacedaemonian story is that when it reached Samos, on its way towards Sardis, the Samians having knowledge of it, put to sea in their ships of war and made it their prize. But the

Samians declare that the Lacedaemonians who had the vase in charge, happening to arrive too late, and learning that Sardis had fallen and that Croesus was a prisoner, sold

it in their island, and the purchasers (who were, they say, private persons) made an offering of it at the shrine of Juno: the sellers were very likely on their return to

Sparta to have said that they had been robbed of it by the Samians. Such, then, was the fate of the vase.